James Hamilton Ross

James Hamilton Ross, rancher, politician, commissioner of the Yukon T, MP, senator (b at London, Canada W 12 May 1856; d at Victoria 14 Dec 1932).

James Hamilton Ross

James Hamilton Ross, rancher, politician, commissioner of the Yukon T, MP, senator (b at London, Canada W 12 May 1856; d at Victoria 14 Dec 1932). A popular and diplomatic representative and administrator, Ross consistently advocated increased popular participation in government in the North-West and Yukon territories. In the 1870s Ross moved with his family to Manitoba and by the early 1880s he had established a ranch near Moose Jaw in the Assiniboia District. He won election to the North-West Council in 1883 and served on that body for the next 5 years. Beginning in 1888, he was elected to several terms in the North-West Assembly, where he served in the positions of private member, as Speaker (1891-94), member of the executive committee (1895-97) and as treasurer and commissioner of public works (1897-1901). He played a key role in the campaign for responsible government for the territories.

Appointed commissioner of the Yukon T in 1901, Ross's previous experience proved invaluable as he reorganized the Yukon civil service and sponsored a wide variety of legislation. In Dec 1902, he was elected first MP for the Yukon, despite having had a paralytic stroke which left him unable to campaign. He was appointed to the Senate in 1904.